COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) — No. 8 South Carolina rolled to another victory, despite some uneven play on offense and ongoing injury problems at quarterback.
The Gamecocks (3-0) beat UAB 49-6 on Saturday night, rolling up 501 yards and scoring 35 points after starting QB Connor Shaw left late in the second quarter after taking a brutal hit to his throwing shoulder at the same spot it was hurt in the season opener against Vanderbilt.
"This was one of the closest 49-6 games I have ever been around," coach Steve Spurrier said.
It was Spurrier's 200th college coaching win, but he even shrugged that off. He counts his wins in the NFL and USFL too.
"I have 47 others, so it sort of blends in," said Spurrier, who joined Virginia Tech's Frank Beamer, Texas' Mack Brown and Nevada's Chris Ault as the only active Division I coaches to reach that mark.
Spurrier didn't think his quarterbacks made good throws at times and his running game didn't start to click until late when the game was well decided.
"We were fortunate to get what points we could," Spurrier said. "Seems like we couldn't get a guy open or hit anybody."
The Gamecocks starting a stretch of seven straight Southeastern Conference games, starting with Missouri next week. And it looks like most of the week will again be filled with questions about who will start at quarterback. The team said Shaw's right shoulder was bruised, but after the game Shaw said he was recovering from a slight fracture.
Shaw finished the game completing eight of 14 passes for 107 yards, a touchdown and an interception. But his running, usually a strength, looked tentative. He finished with minus-6 yards rushing after two sacks and carried the ball on planned runs just three times for eight yards.
Shaw said after the game that he got shots and painkillers and the shoulder felt much better. But he said he had no idea if he could play next week.
Sophomore Dylan Thompson took over at quarterback again. He was 5 for 10 for 177 yards and two touchdowns, including a 95-yard touchdown pass to Damiere Byrd that put South Carolina up 35-6 midway through the third quarter.
Spurrier said Shaw has played well enough to deserve to start if he is healthy. But he cracked the door open to a possible QB rotation.
"If we need to use two quarterbacks at times, Dylan can make some throws," Spurrier said.
Along with Shaw, receiver Bruce Ellington left the game early in the third quarter with a sprained shoulder after a diving 43-yard catch. Ellington said he should be ready for next week.
Marcus Lattimore carried the ball 12 times for 85 yards. The all-SEC back hasn't topped the 100-yard mark in five of his past seven games. But the junior's 2-yard TD run in the second quarter gave him the school's record for touchdowns at 34 and tied him for all-time rushing TDs at 31. Heisman Trophy winner George Rogers held both those marks previously.